The Erstwhile Seaview Historic District

May 7, 2010 | 6 comments

The Shelburne Inn, Seaview

     In 1979, when Pacific County’s Department of Public Works actually had a position called “Historic Planner,” there was an effort made to create a “Seaview Historic District.”  Because Oysterville had been successful in creating such a district three years previously, I was asked to serve on that committee.  In my files, I still have a memo to committee members from Planner Larry Weathers written on September 21, 1979.  It begins:
     The public meeting held for Seaview residents on September 21st at the Peninsula Church Center was anything but a success.  I think the best way to describe it would be to say, “One resident down, approximately 300 to go.”  It appears that I will have to schedule another meeting for the public later in the year…
     I don’t remember how many meetings there were – perhaps one or two more – but I do remember Larry’s disappointment that the idea for lack of interest by Seaview residents.  And I remember my own disappointment several years later when, due to county budgetary constraints, the Historic Planner’s position was discontinued.  As far as I can see, the county’s interest in historic anything ceased at the same time.
     Last night I attended a hearing on the proposed revisions to the county’s comprehensive plan.  There were a number of Seaview residents there to express their concerns about the changing character of Seaview which they say is losing the quiet historic charm that they have so cherished over the years.  My thoughts flew back to Larry and that meeting of long ago when only one Seaview resident showed up.  Another lesson learned too late?


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    You know, Seaview residents are a funny lot, but many of those who probably opposed (clearly didn’t understand) the intention of historic p.lanning, have probably gone to their reward. Last summer I drove around taking pictures of the sweet cottages that always make me so happy to see, to send to a friend on Key Peninsula. I should hate to see Seaview lose the quiet, historic charm of my childhood when I stayed at my grandparents summer home there. Hopefully as long as thoughtful people like you keep caring about preserving the history of the Long Beach Peninsula there is a chance that it won’t turn into an Ocean Shores.

  2. Stephanie K. Frieze

    Glad to find your blog, Sydney! Well, I’ve been a fan for years you know. Dear Medora is on my coffee table in Ilwaco. I’ll start carring it around and if I bump into you get you to sign it. Reading it was enchanting.

  3. Judy Anderson McNeal

    I am encouraged to see this article Sydney, and I am so hopeful that Pacific County will resurrect the Historic Planner position and committee. It scares me to see so much of what I remember as a child, being swept away in a tidal wave of development. I believe absolutely, that the present and past can co-exist to create a beautiful blend of history. One has only to look at Oysterville to see the potential for Seaview, Ilwaco, and the whole peninsula, really. PLEASE! Let’s work for forming this committee. When I move back to the beach, I would LOVE to be on such a planning committee! And whatever I can do from a (104 mile distance), count me in!

    • sydney

      I love your optimism, Judy. All I can say is, you go girl!

  4. Wolfgang Mack

    Thank you Sidney for bringing this back. We did a project then under the wings of Larry Weathers in Ocean Park, the Whalebone House. You need to take a walk through Seaview with Portland (and Seaview) resident Dr. John Gevurtz who knows and experienced Seaview since early childhood (65+ years). The amazing part is that many of the places are still owned and used by the same families. A walk with him through the neighborhood is quite an experience.

  5. Jim


    Thanks for the comments. Perhaps I’m one of those (funny lot) although I grew up in OP (as in, an “Ocean Park boy”, thus don’t consider myself a Seaviewan per se, I certainly am a Peninsulan, then a Pacifican. I spent signifacnt time in Friday Harobor in the ’70’s as well as Irvine/Newport/South Laguna Beach in the 80’s. Quirky coastal areas have a tendancy to attract people because they are unique areas, yet the very thing that attracts people results in people wanting to change or changing them without a thought.


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